Clifford E. Fanning

Fanning, Clifford Earl, Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight against enemy forces on 20 June 1944. Leading an extremely hazardous, long-range mission against enemy surface forces between the Marianas and Philippine Islands when intercepted by a vastly superior number of enemy fighter airplanes which also had the altitude advantage, he nevertheless attacked without hesitation. Again and again he engaged enemy fighters in the midst of a fierce and protracted aerial action, definitely shooting down at least one enemy airplane before his own plane was seriously damaged by the opposing fire. Subsequently, although his damaged plane was almost of control and he himself painfully wounded, he accomplished the return flight to a carrier base alone, without radio facilities and at night against great odds, effecting a carrier landing without further injury to himself or other personnel. His determination, courage and skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.